|Explore Phang Nga Bay & the Andaman with Simpson Marine|
The stunning karst topography of Phang Nga Bay provides a glorious backdrop for some of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world. The pages of this magazine, and our sister publication, Phuket Magazine, have illustrated this many times over the years.
In the past, the world's two biggest cruising destinations were the Mediterranean and the Caribbean; but at the recent yacht conference preceding the Thailand Yacht Show, the call "The Med is Dead" could be heard ringing throughout the seminar hall. Southeast Asia has become the new cruising hot spot, with specific locations like Phang Nga Nga and the Andaman Sea showcasing what makes this region so special.
And Simpson Marine, the region's leading leisure marine company, can help you explore the beauty of this area. Mike Simpson, Managing Director and Founder of the company, says, "With its many islands and outstanding coastal scenery, Thailand offers some of the best cruising in Asia and the development of world-class marinas in Phuket provides the necessary shore facilities to encourage more owners to come and visit from other parts of Asia. Simpson Marine provides service support and yacht care meaning owners of yachts sold by Simpson Marine anywhere in Asia can cruise and leave their yachts in Thailand under our management. We have been promoting this destination and will continue to do so given its substantial potential for yachting and yacht chartering".
Simpson Yacht Charter Manager Adrien Darene based now in Ao Po Marina, Phuket, goes further saying southern Thailand is the ultimate destination for yacht charter holidays in Asia. "The islands around Phuket enjoy light wind, flat sea, delicious cuisine, pristine waters and fine sandy beaches. Phuket is only two hours, or less, by flight from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok, making the island a perfect destination for a short yacht charter holiday".
"Fifty percent of our clientele is the expatriate community who live in Southeast Asia (primarily Singapore and Bangkok) and in the People's Republic of China. The remaining fifty percent of our clients come from Russia, Europe and USA", says Adrien. "Simpson Marine's regional spread over seven countries in North and Southeast Asia enables clients from most of parts of Asia to go to Phuket and enjoy their first boating experience which in some cases can lead to a yacht purchase."
To cater to this special clientele, Simpson Yacht Charter offers weekend tailor-made trips along with the more typical weekly or two-week charters. Chartering guests can choose among Lagoon catamarans, power boats and selected superyachts, and they can count on a concierge welcoming service from the moment they land in Phuket.
Simpson Marine also runs a unique "Yacht Care'' program for absentee owners across Asia who wish to keep their yachts in Phuket even though they may live elsewhere.
Sergio Loiacono, Simpson Marine Thailand Country Sales Manager, explains, "It's a concierge service that allows owners living overseas to place their yachts in Thailand, have them cared for by Simpson Marine and be made fully ready and provisioned with just a few hours' notice when the owner wants to fly in and go cruising. Our program is unique with no restrictions on owners. We take care of all maintenance, cleaning, repairs, provisioning, crew placement and concierge service for these yachts and the operational cost of the service can be covered by charter, if the owner wants to use our charter program too."
The program provides a full range of services to support yacht owners who keep their boats in Phuket, including airport transfer, routine service and maintenance, repairs, the supply and installation of new equipment and the provision of captains, stewardesses and crew. The dealer's 30-strong service team is also able to provide customers with multilingual support, thanks to staff able to speak Russian, Thai, French, Italian and English.
"With a yacht care program, we solve a problem many customers face in Asia – where to keep their yacht and how to enjoy it at a moment's notice,'' says Sergio.
Sergio says Phuket's excellent transport connections make it easy for buyers living abroad to keep their yachts here and travel to Phuket for cruising holidays. These owners can also benefit from yacht management services to ensure that their boats are maintained in pristine condition in their absence and ready for their next trip.
Sergio continued: "Many of our customers who keep luxury yachts in Phuket live overseas, and need a full-time professional partner to take care of their yachts when they are not around. In particular, we see a growing number of customers who live in Asia or Russia taking advantage of Phuket's excellent transport links to keep a yacht here and visit the island for regular cruising throughout the year."
Dealing with marine contractors in a different time zone, who speaks a different language can be very frustrating at times, so having an experienced company like Simpson take care of the service and maintenance of your boat can provide much needed relief. By using Simpson's yacht management services, overseas owners can enjoy carefree yachting, knowing that their boat will be in tip-top shape when they arrive for their next cruise.
Noticing a particular demand for Lagoon catamarans, Simpson Marine organized a Lagoon flotilla through Phang Nga Bay a couple years ago and this was very successful, this rendezvous was repeated again last December. The Lagoon's twin hulls provide extra stability and ease of handling at sea and they make great for great for relaxing and entertaining guests at sea.
Simpson Marine has always been ahead of the curve. A few years back, the company hired Russian broker Maksim Volkov to deal with its Russian clients and Thai National Matthew Na Nagara to deal with its prospective Thai buyers. Both moves paid off almost immediately as Russians and Thais chose to deal with Simpson Marine simply because they could negotiate and communicate with brokers in their native tongue (Matthew has since moved on to run his family-owned Port Takola Marina & Resort in Krabi). Today Simpson celebrates a new partnership with a major Bangkok luxury cars dealer, Niche Cars, aiming to promote the yachting lifestyle and the yachts portfolio to the Bangkok community. Apart from the Phuket office, established over 15 years ago, the Pattaya office, based in Ocean Marina, and managed by senior broker Nicole van De Wall, enjoys a lot of trust from local Thai clientele. Recent sales of the Oceanis 38, GT 49, MC6 or Barracuda 9 prove that the numerous community building actions that Nicole is constantly undertaking are delivering result.
Yacht buyers are attracted to Phuket by the island's easy travel connections, warm climate and stunning seas. Many sailors use their yachts to discover destinations across Asia and the Indian Ocean, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Maldives. The number of direct flights serving Phuket from destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore has grown in recent years, while the island also boasts excellent connectivity for Russian yacht owners living in cities such as Vladivostok. Phuket is also well serviced by low cost carriers from across the region with 15 flights a day from China alone.
Phuket has the right marine infrastructure to support owners seeking a home for their yachts, with a choice of four marinas and further expansion underway. The island is especially popular with owners living in Singapore and Hong Kong, where it can be difficult to find a berthing space.
Simpson Marine is Asia's premiere new yacht sales, brokerage and service company. With over 30 years of experience, it has played a pioneering role in the development of the yachting industry in Asia, and with its yacht care and charter programs it will continue to do so.